Muslims betrayed: Shahi Imam

New Delhi, October 02: Rejecting the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suits, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid on Friday said the community had been “betrayed” again, even as he appealed for peace.

Criticising the Congress, Syed Ahmed Bukhari said: “Now dialogue has become one of the refrains, but we have seen the attitude of Congress regime over the years. First, it was installation of idols in 1949, then it was shilanyas, followed by the opening of locks and then presiding the martyrdom of Babri Mosque. Now we have been betrayed again.”

Bukhari was addressing Muslims after Friday prayers.

He expressed doubts over the “consolation” route of appeal before the Supreme Court. “…my impression is that the Supreme Court will also pronounce similar judgment. Supreme Court is most likely to endorse this verdict.”

Bukhari said Muslims wanted justice but got settlement. “Muslims want justice. At least this is what we had hoped from the court. But it (the Court) pronounced a settlement. We are not ready to accept it. This is not a verdict of secular state.”

The Imam had some hard words for the judiciary, saying “it was a title suit and not a partition suit. “The court has pronounced partitioning of the title. Muslims did not wait for 60 years for this. They were expecting justice. Having lost faith in different regimes, 60 years down the line we can not even trust the courts,” Bukhari said.

“When the court did not find evidence of demolition of temple to build the mosque, how could it find evidence of ruins of the temple at that place? Then the courts invoked the principle of faith of one community. What about over 350 years of faith of Muslims at that site?” he said.

The Imam said the court did not accept the “reality of existence of a mosque for over 450 years but it accepted the existence of idols that came only in 1949”.

“If we do not get our rights, we will never be able to walk in this country with our heads held high. Forget about moving 50 years ahead, we will be set back by another 200 years,” Bukhari said.

He suggested that Muslims should meet in Delhi’s Ramlila grounds to formulate a strategy to deal with the situation arising out of the verdict.